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Retired City chief drove drunk

Desmond Racicot
PLATTSBURGH — Former Plattsburgh City Police Chief Desmond Racicot was arrested early Sunday and charged with driving while intoxicated.

According to the State Police blotter, Racicot, 48, was pulled over at 2:26 a.m. on Trafalgar Lane in the City of Plattsburgh.

He was charged with two misdemeanors — driving while intoxicated first offense and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 of 1 percent or higher.

And State Police gave him two infractions — unsafe turn, failure to signal; and operating a motor vehicle without inspection.

Racicot was given an appearance ticket.

He did not reply to phone and text messages asking for comment.

Racicot could be sentenced to a year in jail; $500 to $1,000 fine plus surcharge; an ignition interlock device on his car; six-month revocation of his driver’s license and, at the court’s discretion, participation in a STOP DWI Victims Impact Panel.


With 14 years under his belt, Racicot was one of the longest serving chiefs to ever head the City Police Department.

He was employed there for a total 27 years, with a salary of $118,652 at the time of his retirement.

Racicot gave up the job in January 2017 to take a position with Cisco Systems, an international security conglomerate headquartered in California.

He told the Press-Republican then that he looked forward to the opportunity to work from home and also travel some for that job.

Law enforcement agencies throughout Clinton County and statewide are in the midst of a crackdown on impaired driving, an effort launched every year around the Fourth of July holiday to make the roads safer.

8 charged with BUI in boating crackdown

Joel Crabtree | Maine Dept of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
A game warden looks out onto Sebago Lake for boating activity. Last weekend, Maine wardens put in over 1,200 hours of work during a weekend of heightened awareness for drinking and boating.

During a three-day raised presence on the state’s lakes, rivers and ponds, Maine game wardens charged eight boaters with operating under the influence, and issued 100 summonses and 328 warnings for various boating violations, according to the Maine Warden Service.

Operation Dry Water, a campaign that started in 2009, is a national initiative aimed at decreasing the number of Americans who boat while impaired, according to the Operation Dry Water website.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said in a press release that 80 wardens participated in a three-day awareness event that kicked off Friday, June 29. “Those game wardens spent over 1,200 hours enforcing recreational boating activity, inspecting nearly 2,500 watercraft with 5,400 operators and passengers,” the press release stated.

The most common violations game wardens encountered had to do with safety equipment, registration requirements and safe operation. The wardens encountered close to 50 nonboating related violations as well, two of which included adults providing a location for minors to consume alcohol, according to the press release.

This three-day raised awareness event is always scheduled around the Fourth of July, a holiday usually associated with drinking, according to Operation Dry Water. According to Maine Game Warden Cpl. John MacDonald, good boating weather contributes to the number of people on the water, and to violations.

“More than anything it follows weather patterns,” MacDonald said.

The Fourth of July usually kicks off the summer boating season, which means wardens will still be on the water. “It isn’t just a matter of, ‘We’ve done it and now it’s done,’” MacDonald said.

8 charged with OUI in Maine boating crackdown

Dem running for Paul Ryan’s seat has arrest history

Speaker Paul Ryan in Congress was arrested and pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in 1998, in addition to eight other arrests, according to documents obtained by CNN.

Two of Randy Bryce’s arrests were more recent — in 2011 and 2018 — while protesting the policies of Ryan and Wisconsin’s GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, but the majority of Bryce’s arrests stem from a single incident of driving under the influence, including three times for driving with a suspended license.

Bryce launched his campaign in June 2017 to replace Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District and quickly became a rising star for many progressives because of his support for unions, Medicare for all, a $15 hourly minimum wage, paid family medical leave and abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Ryan announced in April that he wouldn’t run for re-election and CNN rates the race as competitive, though it leans Republican.

Bryce is facing Janesville School Board member Cathy Myers in a Democratic primary on August 14. Bryce had raised a total of around $4.8 million as of March 31, the most recent records available from the Federal Election Commission.

Bryce’s time in the political spotlight has brought out some unflattering aspects of his past, including the revelation that he was two-and-a-half months delinquent on paying child support to his ex-wife in September 2015, and it took nearly two years for him to pay it off. And this week, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Bryce blamed unions for many people thinking that unions are useless and and outdated because, he said, “The labor movement has become lazy.”

Bryce’s multiple arrests, however, have not yet been reported on, other than those that occurred in 2011 and 2018.

According to public records obtained by CNN, Bryce was arrested in April 1998 for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol — or OUI– in Schoolcraft County, a small, rural county in Michigan. Though Michigan law classifies the offense as an OUI, it’s commonly known in other states as a DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol.

Bryce initially pleaded guilty, then later failed to appear in court in Michigan and a warrant was put out for his arrest. Bryce ultimately appeared in court again in March 2003, where he was sentenced to 65 days in jail, though the judge immediately suspended the sentence, and Bryce received credit for one day served in jail and paid $850 in fines. He was also ordered to complete four days of community service.

In a statement to CNN, Bryce said, “There is no excuse for what I did 20 years ago when I got behind the wheel and operated under the influence. I made a mistake and I regret it. I’ve worked very hard to learn from my mistakes so I can be a man my son can be proud of. I’m not perfect, but I know the struggles working people go through. I understand the mistakes that any of us can make. I’ve certainly learned from mine.”

Bryce has other arrests before and after his 1998 arrest.

In December 1991, on his 27th birthday, Bryce was arrested in Wisconsin for marijuana possession, property damage, trespassing and theft, through the theft and trespassing charges were dropped. Court records dating that far back are unavailable, and according to campaign spokesperson Julia Savel, Bryce says he doesn’t remember the court’s decision, though he says he didn’t pay any fine or serve time and believes the charges were dropped.

After having his license suspended following his 1998 OUI in Michigan, Bryce was arrested three more times for driving with a suspended license and registration in Wisconsin.

In September 1998, Bryce was arrested in Milwaukee County and pleaded no contest to driving with a suspended license, for which he was ordered to pay a $124.90 fine.

In October 2000, Bryce was arrested in South Milwaukee for driving with a suspended license and had to pay a $1,000 bond. Bryce, who had recently begun working as an ironworker, didn’t qualify for a public defender, and the court entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. In December, he failed to appear in court and the judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

Bryce was arrested under the warrant in February 2001, and after being held in jail for one day, was released after paying a $500 bond. In March 2001, he pleaded guilty and paid a $200 fine.

Regarding vehicular arrests that occurred after his OUI, spokesperson Savel released the following statement: “To put this in context, when this happened Randy had recently beaten a late-stage aggressive form of cancer during which time he didn’t have health insurance. He was able to dig himself out of bankruptcy which was related to his mounting medical bills because he started his new career as a union ironworker. Randy has made mistakes, and as he said, there is no excuse for his actions. But he also has worked hard to right his wrong and grow from the experience, like so many other working people find themselves having to do.”

Bryce’s most recent arrests were for taking part in illegal protests.

In October 2011, Bryce was one of 19 people arrested for occupying Johnson’s office in Milwaukee. Johnson was not in the office at the time, and Bryce was later found guilty and paid a $75 fine.

In March 2018, Bryce was arrested with nearly two dozen other activists who were blocking traffic near Ryan’s office in Racine, Wisconsin. Bryce and the others were demonstrating in support of the DREAM Act, which would provide protection for people brought to the US illegally as children.

BUI for smoking pot in a kayak?

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and Friday through Sunday, officers from federal to local levels will have patrols on waterways across the state looking for impaired boaters.

But the law isn’t just for power boats. It’s also illegal to operate any boat while high or drunk, including, but not limited to, boats such as kayaks, canoes, row boats and inflatable rafts.

KIRO 7 looked over the Coast Guard‘s boating statistics for 2017, which show fewer boat crashes and deaths compared to the previous year, however, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in deadly boat crashes.

Five people were killed in alcohol-related boating crashes last year as compared to three in 2016.

Authorities want to send a message ahead of Independence Day that there is zero tolerance for putting others at risk by operating any boat while under the influence, whether it be alcohol, marijuana or another intoxicating substance.

For lakes and waterways that allow power boats, officers will often look for speeders, and once stopped, they look for any signs of boating under the influence.

Refusing to submit a blood or breath test when asked will leave you with a civil infraction and could cost you more than $2,000.

Woman charged with third OWI after toxicology shows meth use

A Monona woman is facing a felony charge following a December arrest in Portage for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a third offense.

The Columbia County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Sarah Scholl, 37, on Monday after receiving toxicology results from the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, showing the alleged presence of amphetamine and methamphetamine.

The Portage Police Department received an anonymous report of a suspicious driver just before 7 p.m. Dec. 8. An officer stopped Scholl as she was parking at the Walgreens parking lot on New Pinery Road.

When the officer asked about damage to her vehicle, Scholl reportedly said her dog must have hit the gear shift and caused the vehicle to hit a pole or something near O’Reilly Auto Parts or Tim’s Ministorage.

While they were talking, the officer noted she seemed to be clenching her face, having muscle spasms and her hands were fluttering while she had balance issues.

She was placed under arrest for suspicion of operating a vehicle while drugged, driving with a revoked driver’s license, failure to install an ignition interlock and two counts of felony bail jumping.

On April 4, Scholl was convicted in two felony cases and entered a plea of no contest to charges of possession of methamphetamine and felony bail jumping from incidents on Jan. 5 and Jan. 17. At her sentencing hearing, Scholl was given a withheld sentence and three years of probation, contingent on 60 days in jail, which she is currently serving.

In her current case, if convicted, she faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 45 days in jail and maximum of one year in jail for operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a third offense, with up to two additional years for being a repeated offense.